We all want to feel happy. We all want happiness in our life. When you ask someone what is the one thing they want the most, the most common answer isn't money or wealth. It's actually happiness. It's something that we all chase. But happiness isn't something you can get. It is something you must find within yourself. The thing we always get wrong is that we don't define happiness for ourselves.
Find out what makes you happy, find out what happiness means to you. If you are looking to have a happy life, remember to have realistic expectations. True happiness isn't being constantly happy, constantly jumping around and being ecstatic 24/7. True happiness is peace, and you can find that within you whenever you want. It's something you have access to all the time.
So why do most people get it wrong? We live in a society where people are flashing nice things around, we see the highlights of other people’s lives on social media, on TV and we end up comparing ourselves to other people, however we forget that these people that we’re comparing ourselves to, are most likely compared themselves to other people as well. We buy into the image that they are happy because they have nice things and instead of focusing on what we have, we focus on the materialistic things without realising that they are not going to make us happy. Think about when you were a kid, and you always wanted the newest phone or a certain outfit. I can count so many times when I thought to myself “I will be happy once I get ...”. And I was happy, but only for short amount of time. Sometimes I was only happy for a day, sometimes a week but eventually we get used to things we have, and we end up wanting more. As we grow older we start chasing bigger things, like bigger cars, bigger houses, bigger salaries. But now that you have more than you ever had, can you remember a time when you were happier with less things? But guess what, this is great news. Now you know that you don't need to wait for something or someone to be happy, and you don’t need to own anything to have inner peace.
Here are a few simple tips to make you happier. They are incredibly simple so the best thing you can do is make them part of your daily routine. Make a habit out of them and that way, you will experience happiness every single day no matter what is going on in your life.
We constantly live in our mind. We approximately think 60,000 thoughts every single day. That's a lot of thoughts. Most of them are negative so no wonder that you're here reading a blog about happiness and how to find it. We spend so much time thinking about the future or the past that we never get to experience the now. We tell ourselves “I will be happy once I have a house on my own or once I make certain amount of money”. But once you get to be in your new house with that monthly paycheck that you've always dreamt of, you find yourself thinking again “I will be happy once the house is decorated how I want it or once I get another pay rise”. Do you see what I mean? It's a never-ending story. We're never satisfied with what we have, we always want more. So if your mindset is that you will be happy once you get something, then you will be waiting for happiness forever and you will completely miss out on life. That's why it's so important to learn how to be happy with what we already have. Because if you took your focus away from what you want to what you have, you will find out that you already have so much. So be mindful, be present, try to experience every single moment as it is. One thing you can do is ask yourself “am I aware”. This will automatically bring awareness into your life. Also try to meditate every day for at least 10 minutes. It's a wonderful way to start your day. Just be silent for 10 minutes, focus on your breathing , and if you are new to meditation there are so many wonderful apps or free guided meditations on YouTube. If this is very new to you, and you want to start with something simpler, you can have a short mindful moment in the morning when you're waiting for the kettle to boil. Whilst the water is boiling just stand there and focus on your breathing, or close your eyes and ask yourself how you're feeling today. You don't need to spend hours meditating. Start small.
Another simple tip is to simply smile. When we smile we trick our brain into thinking that we're happy and the same chemicals get released in our brain, so you can literally smile your way into being happy. Just try it few times a day, especially at the beginning of your day. Just smile at yourself in the mirror, when you're driving to work or when you are taking a shower. Just smile, it's free so why wouldn't you smile and slowly notice how your body changes. So keep calm and carry on smiling.
Jump around and have fun
Try jumping around every now and then. Have a private party even if you are by yourself and even if it feels weird. Just have fun with it. Have you ever had a moment where you felt unhappy and then as soon as you went out partying with your friends, your mood improved drastically? You can recreate that again by being silly, and since no one’s there to judge you, then you most certainly don't have anything to lose . This is a great opportunity for you to get in touch with your inner child. We're under constant pressure to be serious and act like people can take us seriously, but this is unsustainable, and it has a negative effect on our happiness, because we've lost that connection with our inner child. We're afraid to act and behave how we want. Or behaviour is so controlled by other people and their expectations. So have a break from that every now and again. Have a party by yourself and just dance and have fun.
Fix your posture. We often think that our body follows our emotions. So when we're tired we naturally start sitting like we're tired. We end up resting our head in our hands or curve into a ball. But actually is the other way around. Or emotions follow our body so if your body language is acting like you're tired or sad, your emotions will follow. So next time you feel tired try to sit up straight, or get up and jump around for a little bit even if it's for 30 seconds. Put your arms up in the air, play your favourite song, jump and smile. You will automatically feel so much fresher. So, whenever you do catch yourself feeling unhappy, ask yourself what your body is doing, how are you sitting, what is your facial expression like. There is a significant chance that your emotions are naturally just following your body. So when you are walking around, walk with your head held high, put your shoulders back, chest's proud and walk around with the confidence and happiness that's within you.
One of the most powerful tools for happiness is gratitude. Think about what is it that you're grateful for. It could be so simple as having a comfortable bed or how sunny the weather was today. These things may seem so simple but think about the people who have to sleep on the floor every single night. Think about how they would feel if they could sleep in your bed tonight. Do not take what you have for granted because there are millions of people who would do anything to have the things you have. Every single day, before you go to sleep write down three things that you're most grateful for. This has been proven to turn naturally born pessimists into positive people. Gratitude and happiness go hand in hand, so really make it into part of your routine. And if you do it just before going to bed you will sleep so much better as well. But it isn't simply just about writing things down. Really feel grateful for those things. Think about what your life would be like if you didn't have those things or if those things didn't happen to you. Now if you want to take this exercise to the next level then choose one of the three things that you're grateful for and spend 2 minutes writing about it. So if one of the things you were grateful for was the fact that you can walk and that you're healthy, you can write about all the things that you were able to see and experience thanks to your health. Remember to really feel the gratitude whilst you’re writing about your experience.
Every single day try to spend 15 things doing something you love. Whether that’s dancing, cooking, listening to music, or even watching TV. We often feel like we don't have time for the things we enjoy, but we need to prioritise our happiness and 15 minutes out of your day is not a lot. This will have a massive impact on your overall happiness, so think of this as an investment. It doesn't have to be the same thing every single day. Come up with a list of things you enjoy and do one thing every day. This is immensely powerful for a daily happiness boost.
Acts of kindness
Another great way to boost your happiness is acts of kindness. Even simple acts of kindness can massively increase your happiness levels. It can be so simple as sending a nice message to a friend, buying flowers for someone you love, or buying food for a homeless person. Act of kindness has more effect on our happiness than materialistic things. And you can keep it simple or take it to another level and volunteer for a charity once a week. There are also so many other scientific benefits of kindness such as reduced stress, anxiety, and depression. It does not only make you calmer, healthier and happier, but also the other person that you've helped. Some have even reported reduced pain and blood pressure. Helping other people makes you a more comfortable and confident person and some studies suggest that you could even live longer. Finally, people that see your kindness are more likely to pay it forward.
Finally make time for social connections. Did you know loneliness is just as bad for your health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day? Unfortunately, this is true. So always make sure that you make time for your friends and loved ones. Spend time with people that you love and that you're grateful for, people that lift you up instead of bringing you down, people that you can trust and count on no matter what's going on. People that make you laugh, and that are always there for you.
I hope that you found this useful but please remember you can read about it and forget about it or you can start implementing this into your life. Every single thing on this list is simple, straight forward and not at all time consuming, so you really have no excuse. Although some of these things may seem new to you, just try them see if they work for yourself. At the end of the day, you have nothing to lose but so much to gain.